Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi(PTI Photo)
Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi(PTI Photo)

RJD has to decide on its continuation in Grand Alliance: Jitan Ram Manjhi

Jitan Ram Manjhi has said that Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) would definitely field its candidate in Nathnagar assembly seat in the upcoming by-election.
By Avijit Biswas | Hindustan Times, Bhagalpur, Bhagalpur
UPDATED ON SEP 26, 2019 12:20 PM IST

Hinting at possible split in Grand Alliance (GA), former chief minster Jitan Ram Manjhi said here on Wednesday that his party Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) would definitely field its candidate in Nathnagar assembly seat in the upcoming by-election.

In an interview with HT, Manjhi though refrained from saying anything regarding dissociation of his party from the GA, minced no word noting that so far interpretation of the ongoing developments in the GA is concerned, one can read between the lines. Sore over the announcement of candidate for Nathnagar seat by RJD without taking into confidence alliance partners, he said, “We are feeling let down.”

“We had made our intention known to RJD well in advance about contesting Nathnagar seat taking into consideration caste-based social equation of the assembly segment. More than a month back, we had intimated our willingness to file our party candidate from Nathnagar. No meeting was convened during this period to hold discussion with alliance partners on seat sharing,” he added.

Manjhi said: “As the largest party in the alliance, it was expected our wishes would be given due consideration by RJD. On the contrary, RJD decided to field its own candidate from the seat. We believe RJD has failed to stick to principles of the alliance.”

He said Congress, VIP, RLSP and HAM-S have consensus opinion on seat sharing in assembly segments. “We had already spoken to Congress and VIP on the issue and are in touch with RLSP,” he said, adding, “HAM-S would contest Nathnagar seat even if party needs to go alone in the election.”

On whether a new political regrouping would unveil if HAM-S decision results in dissociation of party from the GA, Manjhi said, “The question of dissociation from GA doesn’t arrive at all. Congress, VIP, RLSP and HAM-S remain integral part of the GA. It is for RJD to decide on its continuance in the alliance,” he added.

The former CM said his party had been assessing its chances in the by-election for Nathnagar for quite some time. “The results of assessment indicate the party has sway over 60% votes in the constituency taking into account its caste-based social equation. Encouraging presence of workers in booth-level meeting of party workers in Nathnagar on Tuesday also confirmed support of people for HAM-S and this also contributed to sticking to our decision of fielding party candidate from the seat.”

HAM-S has decided to field Ajay Kumar Roy from Nathngar. As per assessment of party leadership, caste group to which Roy belongs, have sizeable population and it could be an advantage for the party candidate.

“Politics is a game of possibilities. Nobody knows how things would take shape in future,” he added.

Caste-based social equation of Nathnagar:

Minority community voters -25,000

Yadav caste voters – 30,000

Ravidas caste voters – 35,000

Schedule Caste voters – 15,000

Voters of Dhanuk caste – 28,000

(The figures are based on information provided by Jitan Ram Manjhi)

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